Isle of Wight cliff plunge car to be removed

A car which plunged off a 100-metre (328ft) cliff killing the man and woman inside is to be removed from the beach today as police begin an investigation.





Hampshire Police said the bodies were recovered from an upturned blue small MPV-type car at the bottom of Culver Down cliffs, Isle of Wight, yesterday evening.



Emergency services were called at around 8pm and battled against the incoming tide to try to recover the pair from the "very crushed" car, Solent Coastguard said.



A coastguard spokeswoman said three teams from Bembridge, Ryde and Ventnor were called to the scene, along with the coastguard helicopter from Solent.



Two lifeboats from Bembridge also joined the search with fire and rescue, ambulance and police teams.



Anne Ricketts, 47, a social worker from nearby Sandown, was walking her dog along the beach around the time of the accident. She said she saw a tractor dragging a trailer containing four firefighters towards the beach at the time.



Just after 8pm, she said she saw a coastguard helicopter drop someone into the water before leaving, while "truckloads" of rescuers from the coastguard were being dropped off nearby.



A police spokesman said: "Detectives on the Isle of Wight are today continuing their investigation after a man and a woman died when their car went over a cliff near Bembridge.



"The couple who died are thought to be in their 40s and 50s and from the island but official identification has not yet taken place and next of kin are still to be informed.



"Police are now investigating the circumstances which led to the incident.



"A post mortem is expected to be held later today and officers will also be looking to recover the vehicle from the bottom of the cliffs at some stage today.



"Officers have the beach and the cliff top currently cordoned off while they investigate.



"Officers say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths."







Police forensic officers were today examining the cliff top road from where the car would have gone over on to the beach.

The cliff top paths and nearby beaches were all cordoned off to enable police to carry out their investigations and recover the vehicle.



Jayne Garner, from Totton, Southampton, Hampshire, who was staying in a nearby car park last night, said: "We were outside the caravan and saw the helicopter and watched it circling.



"We thought something was up because of the length of time they were taking."









A Hampshire and Isle of Wight police spokesman said that immediate next-of-kin of the two victims had been informed.

He said they were from different parts of the UK and formal identification procedures would take place later this week.



The spokesman said: "The couple who died were a man aged in his 50s and a woman aged in her 40s. They both lived on the Isle of Wight."



The spokesman added that post-mortem examinations were due to take place later today.



The car was a Renault Scenic, according to police.



The beach and the clifftop remain sealed off while a forensic examination of the area for evidence continues.



The spokesman said police were exploring options for the vehicle to be recovered safely from the beach some time this week.



Inspector Colin Hall, of Hampshire and Isle of Wight police, said: "Our investigation is focused on the couple's behaviour shortly before the car went over the cliff.



"We must consider every possibility at this early stage but detectives are not looking for anyone else suspected of being responsible for the deaths.



"We're continuing to appeal for more witnesses who may have seen a couple in a blue Renault Scenic car in or near the top car park at Culver on Wednesday evening.



"Police would like to thank members of the public for their co-operation and help with our inquiries so far. We're also grateful to our emergency service colleagues for their expertise at the scene."



PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count
voicesIs it any wonder that Thornberry, Miliband, and Cameron have no idea about ordinary everyday life?
Sport
sportComment: Win or lose Hamilton represents the best of Britain
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Arsene Wenger reacts during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Swansea
footballMan United and Arsenal meet on Saturday with both clubs this time languishing outside the top four
News
i100BBC political editor Nick Robinson had a lot of explaining to do
Life and Style
Nappies could have advice on them to encourage mothers and fathers to talk to their babies more often
newsTalking to babies can improve their language and vocabulary skills
Sport
Tony Bellew holds two inflatable plastic sheep at the weigh-in for his rematch with Nathan Cleverly
boxingGrudge match takes place on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson at PS1
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Female Support Workers / Carers - From £8.00 per hour

£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines